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FIRST TEMPLE SAFARI ON BIKES TO SUPPORT TEMPLE DAY CARE CENTER ( PEPY, an adventure cycle tour and humanitarian aid organization, announces its first Temple Safari Cycling Trek through Siem Reap and Preah Vihear provinces in January 2008. The 2008 ride participants - some of the first adventure travelers to cycle through these areas - will fundraise for the construction of a local, sustainable childcare center near Koh Ker temple, and spend a day volunteering at the center. The building of this center is part of a larger sustainable development and heritage protection initiative undertaken by Heritage Watch, a non-profit devoted to preserving Cambodia’s natural heritage through educational projects and tourism development.

This one-of-a-kind cycling temple safari covers several hundred kilometers, beginning and ending in Siem Reap, home of the famous Angkor Wat. On this unusual journey, cyclists ride through peaceful Cambodian countryside during the day and stay overnight in large and comfortable safari tents located near temples, enjoying evening quiet and stars far removed from tourist crowds. Meals made from fresh local ingredients along the way add to the authentic experience of this under-visited region of Cambodia. As part of their week-long cycling temple safari, PEPY riders spend one day volunteering at the Koh Ker childcare center, meeting the children and community members who will use the facility.

The ancient Khmer capital of Koh Ker, in rural Preah Vihear province, is poised to become a major temple attraction for visitors to Cambodia. This tenth-century site has been isolated for much of the last century due to war, landmines, and poor road conditions. A large percentage of the Koh Ker area population is made up of those disabled by landmine explosions, and many families are sustenance farmers. However, recent de-mining efforts have allowed Koh Ker to grow into a viable tourism destination.

In order to ensure that the local communities can directly benefit from this growth, Heritage Watch will provide training in heritage protection to the local community, organizing and equipping community patrols to protect the temples from looting and destruction, while training individuals in small business ventures. PEPY’s contribution to this project will be the construction of the Koh Ker community childcare center.

The operation of the facility will be overseen by a village committee, with the intent to keep the center self-sustaining. After the first year, families will contribute a small daily fee to sustain costs of the center. While their children are kept safe at the center, adult caretakers will have greater access to training and the ability to establish sustainable businesses near the temples.

PEPY offers a variety of volunteer, adventure, and cycling tours throughout the year. In addition to the trip fee, each participant on a PEPY tour contributes a tax-deductible, donation fee that supports the ongoing humanitarian projects in Cambodia visited on the tour, such as this day care center. PEPY founder Daniela Papi notes, “Many people donate in support of development projects they will never visit, but with PEPY, you can go where your money goes. By joining one of our trips, you see first hand the difference you are making.”

Please visit for more information about their sustainable development programs. To learn more about PEPY, to donate, or to sign up for this trip, please visit

The PEPY Ride is a New York State registered Non-for-Profit Corporation founded in 2005 to support educational projects in developing countries and disaster relief areas with a focus on the relationship between the environment and our health. Emphasizing education through action, where participants both learn from and give back to the communities they visit, PEPY Tours organizes volunteer and adventure travel in developing countries and redevelopment areas suffering from natural disasters.

Maryann Bylander 914-458-4262

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